Michael Wolff, writing in The New Republic, explains Rupert Murdoch's public antagonism toward Mitt Romney.
During the 2008 campaign, when I spent several hours each week interviewing Murdoch for the biography I was writing about him and was privy to his constant campaign replays, Romney never earned more from the often non-verbal Murdoch than a snort, guffaw, or grimace. Murdoch, whose core political values are more visceral than ideological, marveled at the contrast between the stolid father—George Romney, running a come-from-behind automobile company—and what he reckoned to be the hopelessly superficial son in the private-equity business. (Murdoch’s oldest daughter, Prudence, was once, briefly and unhappily, married to a private-equity type whom he didn’t like at all.)
Romney, he continues to tell people who find their way into his political conversations (or monologues) this year, can’t be trusted. Romney is “unprincipled”—one of Murdoch’s bad words—by which he usually means too camera-ready, too media-attuned, and too market-focused. And the larger point: He is just plain grumpy about the uninspired Republican nominee, with the implicit threat that, if unappeased, he is capable of throwing a wrench into the works.
In my conversations with Murdoch, he noted again and again what he saw as the incredulous proposition of someone getting elected in Massachusetts and then trying to win the support of the country’s Christian right. “You’d have to turn yourself inside out,” he said. There are, too, his instinctive aversions. “Slick” is another of his very bad words. He dislikes Romney’s smile. He mutters about Romney’s hair.